Newly installed £7 million endoscopy unit is already meeting NHS demands for local patients to be screened within a fortnight of being referred

Harrogate District Hospital with the support of partners that include leading endoscopy equipment supplier Aquilant, is further driving up levels of patient care thanks to their new state-of-the-art endoscopy unit. The spacious facility, which has seen the number of their treatment rooms increased from two to five also includes modern recovery bays, private consultation areas and new patient changing rooms and other new features, which will further help them to improve their treatment of individuals with disabilities.

The new unit couldn’t have come at a better time for Harrogate District Hospital’s clinical team who’s had to cater for a 50% increase in referrals for their endoscopy services over the last few years, fuelled by factors that include the Government’s Five-Year Strategy to Achieving World-Class Cancer Outcomes[i]. The facility will comfortably allow the hospital to meet their current demand and extend the range of screening programmes they are able to offer patients.

It is something Harrogate District Hospital’s Endoscopy Suite Manager, Lorraine Dyson is extremely excited about: “The transformation of the unit has been amazing and drawn great feedback from patients and staff alike, impressed by its fresh, modern and sophisticated look. It’s also given us a lot more capacity to widen the range of conditions and age groups we screen for, which is timely given the government’s recent announcement to lower the start age of bowel cancer screening to 50. Ultimately, earlier screening helps us to save more lives, which is the main driving force of what we are trying to achieve.”

Technology from endoscopy system manufacturers such as Aquilant’s partner Fujifilm, is also making a critical difference, with advanced imaging systems that incorporate 4-LED Multi-Light technology, enabling clinicians to better detect, characterise and treat abnormalities at a much earlier stage.

Identifying and treating issues before they develop into something more serious has much wider beneficial impacts too, particularly for the NHS in saving them money. With the strain on their resources well publicised following the NHS’s 70th birthday celebrations last year, finance is something they will increasingly need to manage better if they are to prosper for the next 70 years.

Further enhancing the patient experience also has a critical role to play in saving more lives, as it ultimately encourages more people to come in for screening in the first place. It’s something that Lorraine Dyson is passionate about and believes the new unit offers:

“From the calm, soothing look of our new waiting area and private consultation rooms, to our improved facilities for disabled patients that include new electronic ceiling hoists in our treatment room. The new upgrade has transformed the patient experience for everyone who comes in, especially those who were previously treated in the old endoscopy suite, who can’t get over how wonderful our new facilities are. Ultimately, it’s all about providing patients with a clean, comfortable and as dignified an experience as possible. We believe our new endoscopy unit delivers that and will stand us in good stead to meet the expected demand for our services going forward.”

[1] https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/national-cancer-transformation-programme-2016-17-progress.pdf